Righting a wrong that made headlines across the country earlier this year, charges have officially been dismissed against the Black mother from Arizona who left her kids in a motel room so that she was able to go to work.
Ny Magee of TheGrio reported on the case, which ultimately changed the young lady’s life — all because of a family dispute.
“Shaina Bell was at work when her children’s father allegedly tipped off Liberty Township police to a Motel 6 where the 24-year-old’s daughters — ages 10 and two — were awaiting their mother’s shift to end,” Magee reported.
After finding the children alone in the motel room, police officers went to the Little Caesars where Bell worked and arrested her for child endangerment. The children were turned over to their father, and Bell was held temporarily before being released on bail.
Bell defended her actions following her arrest, telling local reporters that she typically had someone check on the girls hourly while she worked. She also explained that she was doing her best to support her family.
According to Magee, “during a pretrial hearing in Girard Municipal Court, Bell pleaded no contest to two disorderly conduct charges and was found not guilty.”
Presiding Judge Jeffrey Adler said he was alarmed at the facts presented at the hearing, noting that Bell’s case could’ve been handled by Child Services. “When the matter arose, I was personally offended that this young woman was arrested and taken to jail instead of just being served with a summons. That should never have happened. People with more serious offenses are not being taken to jail at this time. Based on everything I know about the case it could have been handled a lot differently. I think Miss Bell learned a lesson here.”
In addition to the good news of her case dismissal, Bell’s story appears to have struck a nerve with the public. As news of her situation broke, her mother set up a GoFundMe page to help her working daughter. It has since earned over $165,000 — money Bell will use to help buy a house for her family.
Music executive Pierre “Pee” Thomas is one of the largest donors to Bell’s GoFundMe page. Under his $10,000 donation, he wrote, “Someone get me this young lady’s info. My mom used to have to do the same thing when we were young, not [because] of abandonment issues, it’s because people can’t afford childcare working at a pizza shop. She wasn’t hanging out at a club. She was at work.”
Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego also spoke out on Twitter about Bell’s situation, saying, “Women are damned if they do or damned if they don’t. Stay at home with your kids and receive government assistance and you are a [leech], go to work for poverty wages [without] consistent sitters and go to jail.”
Thankful for the support her daughter has received, Bell’s mother updated her GoFundMe page to add: “We understand that everyone has a story, and we are grateful that you are listening to ours. From the bottom of our hearts, we not only appreciate the financial contributions, but also the outpouring of support in the form of kind words and understanding.”
Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.